I'm going to asnwer the stuff very short because there are much questions.
and I have little time. If you want to know more do some research yourself or ask for a more complete answer.
- Is there any program to see which 8x media is supported?
I am using the firmware 1.0C (unofficial Herry latest version)
- If a particular media is supported 4x, will the equivalent 8x discs work as well (backwards compatibility of new media) on the NEC?
1 Yes there is don't know the name but you probally can found it through cdfreaks board. They also have probally a listing of what the firmware supports.
2 Nope different MID is different disc in the NEC case. It needs to have the data in the firmware to use optimum strategy for a disc. In other case it might not burn or it will use generic strategy.
I still don't see one thing (which was really my question), i.e. why should all your reasoning only apply to 8x (and not in general)?
It does apply in general 16x media can be not supported on 8x drives.
What I ment is when the drive was released there was only 4x media now newer media has arrived 8x,16x. While most 4x media was supported because it was there in the drive life cycle NEC had to support it. WHen 8x media was launche however NEC allready had newer drives now it's a question how good they did support the 8x media that came available later. Some compannies do release new firmwares to solve the problems but other compannies don't care. (In which you will end up with a 4x burner that can not burn any media annymore when there is no 4x media arround !. Last thing is not the case with the NEC !)
Also hacked firmwares might be a option.
All what you said (about firmware not having strategy for all media)should be perfectly valid at any writing speed. What I mean: if a brand is unkwown to the firmware will be equally unkown for 4x and 8x.
And I am ready to accept that and to apply new firmware as is gets available (as the Herry one).
I think allready explained above. Why 4x media is probally better supported officially that is. If not then let me know.
But I still don't understand is:
- Assuming you have in the firmware a strategy for a Ritek (random name) at 4x, if I put on the DVDRW a Ritek 8x, will it be able just to write at 4x with the strategy written for older disks? Will newer disks for the same brand be usable with older writing strategies?
Nope. Infact in the old days there were even situations that the drives needed updates for 4x media because with the 2x firmware the media could actually destroy the drive. Like I said most drives decide on MID and each generation has a different mid.
- in the extreme, if this was not possible, how would people get suitable disks in 1 year time? Already nowadys many suppliers limit their discs to 8x. In 1 year's time, 4x DVD-R might be really a rarity.
In the extreem case You need to get a new drive .TOSHIBA slimline 4x model is a drive which doesn't seem to support 8x media !! When european magazines asked if Toshiba would add support for 8x media they said it's allready discontiinued so we probally don't do it and Toshiba suggested that people would just need to buy a new drive if they wanted to burn 8x media.
For me this is a reason to never buy something from Toshiba.
So that shows how bad compannies can be. NEC did add officially support for some 8x media. So be happy that NEC ain't as bad as Toshiba.
Also for NEC there is good community (read hacked firmwares) support so your a bit more safe.
If things are (Still) unclear let me know. I might have screwed up some typeing now and then but I don't have time to look this posting over at the moment. Also if some other persons wants to explain or help please do so.